Viking football wins share of North Star title

Nov 9th, 2013 @ 5:04 pm | Author: Mark Potts, Sports Information Director
The Valley City State football won a share of its third straight conference championship Saturday, defeating Mayville State 37-12 at Shelly Ellig Field.

The Vikings finish with a 3-1 conference record, sharing the title with University of Jamestown. It is the third straight conference title for VCSU, which won the DAC in 2011 and the A.I.I. in 2012.

Saturday was the final home game for nine Viking seniors who led an impressive performance and avenged a loss against Mayville earlier this season. VCSU led 17-0 at halftime and 30-6 early in the fourth quarter.

Viking senior running back Derek Elliott had a career and record-setting day, finishing with 286 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 44 carries. His 286 yards rushing tied the single-game record at VCSU, also held by John Overbey. Elliott also broke three single-season records Saturday, setting new marks for single-season rushing yards and touchdowns, and single-season total touchdowns.

While Elliott led the offense, the Viking defense came up big with three takeaways and a shutdown performance. Mayville State managed just 209 yards of total offense, and just 53 yards on the ground. In a 14-9 loss earlier this season to Mayville, the Vikings allowed 283 rushing yards. On Saturday, a team effort helped the Vikings effectively shut down Mayville's option rushing attack.

Five different Viking defenders tied for the team lead with five tackles. Matt Craft, playing his final game in front of the home crowd, had 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced a fumble. Dwanye Fearon and Zach McBeain added a sack each and combined for 4.5 tackles for loss, and senior Jake Thurston had another tackle in the backfield.

Neither team did much on their first four drives as the offenses battled a strong northwest wind, but the Vikings finally broke through on their fifth drive of the game. A 63-yard run by Elliott took the Vikings inside the 5-yard line, and Elliott finished off the drive moments later with his first score of the game.

On Mayville's next series, Viking defensive back Chris Cross came up with an interception, leading to a 27-yard field goal by Thomas Cortez and a 10-0 lead. Quarterback Kurtis Walls later found Mark Zinke wide open in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown with 2:52 remaining in the first half. The Vikings would add second-half touchdowns on a run by Elliott, and passes from Walls to Colby Lum and Jacob Miller.

Elliott now has 1,613 rushing yards this season, 17 rushing touchdowns, and 19 total touchdowns - all of which are new school records for a single season. The old single season rushing record of 1,386 yards was held by Trevor Bakalar, who was one of Elliott's high school coaches at Valley City. Anthony Walkine held the old rushing touchdown record of 15, and Chauncey Calhoun and Steve Battle held the old total touchdown record of 19.

Up next: Valley City (5-4, 3-1) heads to California on Saturday, Nov. 16 for a game at Menlo College.